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Thu 6 Aug 2015 02:55 PM

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Bahrain's Batelco says Q2 net profit rises 27.5%

Former monopoly makes a net profit of more than $35m during the three months to June 30

Bahrain's Batelco says Q2 net profit rises 27.5%

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted a 27.5 percent rise in second-quarter profit on Thursday as cost savings, a higher yield on invested cash and lower interest expenses outweighed a decline in revenue.

The former monopoly has arrested a sustained earnings decline, with profits up in five of the nine quarters since its acquisition of most of the islands division of Cable & Wireless .

Before that, Batelco's profits fell in 16 of 18 quarters to the three months ending June 30, 2013.

Batelco made a net profit of 13.31 million dinars ($35.29 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 10.44 million a year earlier, it said in a statement.

SICO Bahrain had forecast Batelco would make a quarterly profit of 14.1 million dinars.

Revenue fell to 92.1 million dinars from 97.0 million which the company blamed on "competitive pressures in key markets" and adverse foreign currency movements.

For the half year the company made a net profit of 27.54 million dinars, up from 24.90 million.

Its board approved paying an interim dividend of 0.010 dinars per share.

In Bahrain, Batelco competes with units of Kuwait's Zain and Saudi Telecom Co as well as about 10 Internet providers.

Competition at home has prompted the state-backed operator to expand abroad, completing the Cable & Wireless deal in April 2013, though some parts of its original proposal subsequently fell foul of regulators.

The company also owns Jordanian telecoms operator Umniah, plus minority stakes in Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon and companies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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